This week I have been busy at the bench converting a lovely little tenor banjo into a 5-string for Mr. Kyle Ollah. I must take this opportunity to give my thanks to Kyle for remembering this small, forgotten banjo hailing from the 1920’s which has been sleeping in a corner of my shop for a long while. He’ll be leaving Duluth in a scant week to offer his songs to merry people far and wide. I am pleased to say that this banjo will take to the road with him.
I routed a ledge on the bass side of the neck and added a thin strip of some maple I salvaged from an old piano.
Then a long, flat piece of ebony to crown the neck.
An afternoon of carving, scraping, sawing, and sanding was topped off with a few coats of shellac and a smile.
Some adjustments to the neck angle needed to be made to compensate for the change in fingerboard dimension. Jess Myshack stopped by to take this photo of me working.
A little of this, a little of that, a few cups of coffee, some random chats with friends, and a few hours later a happy Kyle plays the first music this banjo has made for decades.
What a treat. Thank you Kyle. Thanks, everyone.